Home brewing beer brewery


I saw this last month in Popular Science, but it wasn’t online for a while. This (nearly) all-in-one brewery was built by [John Carnett]. It does everything but requires malt extract for now. It boils wort, cools it for fermenting, delivers the brew to the kegs and most interestingly to me – uses cold plate cooling to cool the beer just before it exits the tap. I’m pretty sure they’re using peltier junctions, but I’d like to know for sure. Props to [Nate] for inadvertently reminding me of the thing when he sent in this effort to brew beer inside a pumpkin!

16 thoughts on “Home brewing beer brewery

  1. I’ve been homebrewing for years and love to drink what i’ve brewed. Its even better when people try it. B/c most of the time they think you made this it must taste like crap.

    There is a lot of information online and places to buy your own supply’s from online too. For a few hundred dollars u can get a kit and ingredents.

  2. “uses cold plate cooling to cool the beer just before it exits the tap. I’m pretty sure they’re using peltier junctions”

    There is a refrigeration compressor on the right just before the tap.

  3. How archaic. Making ale with malt extract is more akin to making soup. No control on your sugar levels, and thus less control of fermentation, not to mention flavor. So says “Mr.Wizard,” here: http://byo.com/mrwizard/1610.html

    Homebrewing is a great hobby, because you can make beer to suit your personal taste, and if you make enough, you get invited to a lot of parties.

    Rather than this person’s rig, one would be much better off either fashioning your own brewing rig, or purchasing one from Sabco for better results than this person spent for his equipment, though he did make a valiant effort on making an all-in-one system. The Sabco “Brew Magic” system, can be found here: http://www.brew-magic.com/
    If you are serious and can plunk down five large on this, you can brew some of the finest ales around.

    However, if you want to start homebrewing, you would be better suited to spend around a yard, and get a starter kit, from here: http://www.undergrounddigital.com/beginners_kits.htm
    or your friendly local homebrew supply shop.

    Cheers… Relax, and enjoy beer that YOU made.

  4. The cart consisting of the kegs and chiller/dispensing equipment is pretty interesting, but the brewing half is really nothing special. As others have stated, it’s only good for extract brewing, and spending thousands of dollars building a brewing rig only to use it for extract brews seems like a tremendous waste. Really, it seems like he had too much money lying around and just built it to look shiny and impressive, rather than putting some engineering into it to make it more effective for brewing. It’s awesome that the article got a lot of exposure for homebrewing, it’s just too bad it wasn’t a better example of an impressive brewing rig.

    For someone looking to build a brewing rig where money is no object, a system like the Brutus Ten ( http://www.alenuts.com/brutus.htm ) is significantly more impressive and functional – and the cost would probably still be in the same ballpark. It brews 11 gallons, all-grain, and is automated to the point where brewing requires very little action from the brewer. Practically a “dream” rig.

    Having a single fermenter built into the rig is pretty limiting as opposed to having multiple separate ones – and if you’re going to spend that kind of money, you should at least be using a conical fermenter for the associated gains.

  5. The newest (November 2007) issue of BYO (Brew Your Own) Magazine supposedly has the plans for the Brutus Ten. You could probably get an idea of cost from that – I’ve never seen the plans so I don’t know. Might be able to find the magazine at a local homebrew store, or maybe a very well-stocked bookstore, or as a single ‘backissue’ from:
    http://www.brewyourownstore.com/november2007.html

  6. shuffle2: I wouldn’t be surprised if you end up spending a few thousand to build that Brutus 10. This guy clearly went all out and used shiny new parts for everything. It may seem amazing, but for those 3 brand-new SS kettles (10 or 15 gal), he probably paid $200-300 each.

    The 2 pumps to circulate the wort (which is what you call the beer before it’s really beer) are about $100-200 each, if memory serves. Throw in $50-100 for the temp controllers, a similar amount for each burner, and money for materials for the frame, all the plumbing, valves, wiring, etc, and you can see how it adds up.

    A lot of people have come up with cheaper setups by using, for example, old beer kegs as the kettles. The frame doesn’t need to be stainless; plenty of people have built frames from wood (whether thats a good idea with the propane burners is your call), or cheaper steel. Score some temp controllers and whatnot on ebay and you might be able to build something like this for

  7. @Funkenjäger: yeah i noticed that issue when googling…i think i’d rather get it straight from the source, so to speak.
    @adam: worst cliff hanger ever…

  8. Oh there is nothing like making your own ales or visiting your local brew pub for some fresh ale. Neat picture on this post. Thaks for that.

    Ever in Missoula, Montana I’d recommend the two local breweries in my hometown to anyone looking for great local brewed beers theKettlehouse Brewery and the Big Sky Brewery have some of the finest. The two links have some great brewing kits too that I’ve purchased quite a few brewing kits and styles from. Cheers!

  9. Extract or not, this system isn’t that impressive, and it’s not even fully automated.

    Waste of my time. Go buy an Arduino and do it right.

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